The Power of Language in Adjudication and Mediation: Institutional Contexts as Predictors of Social Evaluation, 17 Law & Soc. Inquiry 191 (1992)
Previous research has charged that the language used by witnesses & litigants influences evaluations of credibility & blame made by legal decisionmakers. To determine the extent of this influence at different levels within the dispute resolution process, 3 experiments measured how speech style (powerful, powerless) & discourse (rule, relational) impacts sitting superior court judges, practicing mediators, & undergraduates at the U of Arizona (N = 42, 33, & 71, respectively). It was determined that students' & judges' evaluations are influenced by speech style while mediators are swayed only by particular aspects of speech style & discourse. Why these groups differed is assessed & implications for future research are suggested. 3 Tables. Adapted from the source document.